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Histopathology. 1997 Jul;31(1):47-54.

Gastrointestinal hepatoid adenocarcinoma: venous permeation and mimicry of hepatocellular carcinoma, a report of four cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.



Four cases of hepatoid adenocarcinoma, three in the stomach, and one in the sigmoid colon, are presented to emphasize venous permeation and mimicry of hepatocellular carcinoma by metastatic liver nodules.


Tumour cells in all cases extensively invaded vems, and intravenous tumour thrombi in two cases were grossly observed as anastomosing, worm-like cords up to 10 mm in diameter in the lesser omentum and mesentery in continuity with the primary mucosal lesions. The cytological features and trabecular architecture of the metastatic liver nodules in these subjects mimicked primary hepatocellular carcinoma. In a third case the tumour contained grossly visible bile in a metastatic lung nodule, but there was no evidence of bile production in the primary gastric or metastatic liver lesions. In the fourth case, detailed histopathological study revealed a gastric origin of the hepatoid adenocarcinoma, rather than primary hepatocellular carcinoma metastatic to the stomach, the initial diagnosis.


These cases are reported here to draw attention to this rare variant of gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma, its mimicry of hepatocellular carcinoma when metastatic to the liver and other sites, and its propensity for venous permeation.

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